When I changed my diet to focus on plant-based meals and moved away from junk food, I found exploring new ingredients intimidating. Sure, I could easily toss together a salad, bake a sweet potato, or grill asparagus. But I avoided other ingredients for years. Jicama, kohlrabi, and collards didn’t find their way into my diet until much later. However, once they did, I realized I was missing out. In fact, collards are the perfect cooking green in my opinion. They are one of the heartier greens, holding up to heat much better than their chard or spinach counterparts. This tahini noodle bowl is just the start of a few collard recipes this fall. It’s easy, vegan, and the perfect way to jump into cooking collards.
Tahini Noodle Bowl with Collards
Author: Erin Alderson
Serves: 2 servings
- 4 ounces soba noodles
- 1/2 medium red onion
- 1 bell pepper or 5 to 6 small red peppers
- 1 bunch collards, roughly 1/2 pound
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Sesame seeds, for serving
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- 3 to 4 tablespoons lemon juice (roughly one lemon)
- 1 small clove garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup noodle water
- Cook soba noodles according to package. Drain noodles but retain water for sauce.
- While noodles are cooking, peel and dice red onion. Dice red peppers. Rinse collards and remove stems. Slice collard leaves into thin ribbons, about 1/4-inch thick.
- Heat a large pot with a good lid on medium-low heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add onions and stir to coat. Cover and let brown, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. When onions have browned, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add collards and salt. Stir until the greens begin to wilt down, 3 to 4 minutes. Cover and let cook, about 5 minutes until collards are soft. Add in red peppers. Stir and then remove from heat.
- In a blender, combine tahini, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt, and noodle water. Blend until smooth. Sauce should be a creamy consistency, but not runny.
- Combine sauce with the noodles and mix until well coated. Stir in vegetables and serve with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds.
Younger collards will be more tender, and take less time to cook. Older collards may take 10 to 15 minutes to soften.
Looking to make this gluten-free? Make sure you find 100% buckwheat soba noodles. Most brands contain wheat.
Stock up: get the pantry ingredients you will need: soba noodles, tahini, olive oil
Tahini Noodle Bowl
I often use greens in noodle bowls because it keeps the cooking time down. In addition, because of an easy, no-cook sauce, this tahini noodle bowl comes together in about 30 minutes. A few ways you can mix up this bowl:
Greens: Can’t find collards? You could use kale or swiss chard in this noodle bowl instead. Slice them in ribbons as you would the collards to keep the cook time to a minimum.
Noodles: This recipe would also work with other noodles such as udon or even spaghetti.
Protein: Looking to add heft to this recipe and make it a meal? Add protein such as a fried egg or a chopped up a hard boiled egg.
As mentioned above, collards are a wonderful green vegetable addition to your kitchen. In fact, it’s an easy swap if you’re used to using kale and chard quite a bit. Even I’m a bit guilty of not using collards as much as I would like. However, now is a great time to bring it into the dinner rotation. A few recipes to dive into cooking with collards:
Collard Quinoa Salad
Grilled Greens and Leeks
Hummus Collard Wraps